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The Danube from the Black Sea to Budapest with 2 Nights in Transylvania 2021

From Bucharest, Romania to Budapest, Hungary
Length: 13 Days - Departs: Tue, Sep 14, 2021

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River Cruise Itinerary

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Sail from the Danube Delta of the Black Sea to Hungary’s capital of Budapest to experience river views like no other. Begin your Danube River vacation your way before your cruise with an overnight stay and sightseeing in Bucharest. Drive into the Carpathian Mountains to Sinaia to visit the grand Peles Castle. You’ll continue to Transylvania for two nights in Brasov. Take a guided tour of the city by day, followed by a tour of Dracula’s Bran Castle by night, and enjoy guided sightseeing in Bucharest. Enjoy superior hotel accommodations with complimentary breakfast, an expert Local Guide, and courtesy hotel-to-ship transfer. From Bucharest, travel to Cernavodă to embark on your Danube River cruise. Take in the incredible views along the way, beginning with the Danube Delta at the Black Sea for a small-boat guided tour of some of the 2,200 square miles of delta preserve. Celebrate Kilometer “0” to mark the Danube’s culmination of 2,845 kilometers from the Black Forest to the Black Sea! Your cruise on the Danube River carries you through the striking landscapes of the Balkans. In Bulgaria’s largest inland port, take a guided sightseeing tour of Rousse, including the Holy Trinity Church, or spend a full day with a guided tour of the Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo, where ancient stone houses cling to the Yantra River cliffs. One of the oldest towns in Bulgaria, Arbanassi holds Bulgarian Revival architecture within its 15th-century locale. Guided sightseeing In Vidin is followed by a guided tour of Belogradchik, with its ancient fortress and tremendous rock formations on the Balkan Mountains. Next visit Lepenski Vir for a guided tour with ancient archaeological finds before cruising through the narrow Iron Gates Gorge. In Serbia, take a guided tour of Belgrade, including one of the world’s largest Orthodox churches, and see the most preserved Croatian fortress in Osijek. You’ll also attend a stirring performance by young students of the Franjo Kuhač music school. Tour the historic towns of Mohács and Pécs before cruising to Budapest to conclude your amazing cruise on the Danube.

  1. Day 1
    BUCHAREST, ROMANIA
    Tue, Sep 14, 2021
    Welcome to Bucharest—the “Paris of the East” The day is yours to relax and enjoy Bucharest. Spend some free time exploring this fascinating city on your own to discover its trendy shops, cafés, museums, beautiful homes, and churches along Victory Avenue.
  2. Day 2
    BUCHAREST–SINAIA–BRASOV
    Wed, Sep 15, 2021
    Drive into the Carpathians to Sinaia to visit Peles Castle. This afternoon continue to Brasov for the night. (B,D)
  3. Day 3
    BRASOV
    Thu, Sep 16, 2021
    Join a morning Guided Sightseeing Tour of Brasov followed by free time. In the evening enjoy a tour of Bran Castle of Dracula lore followed by dinner. (B,D)
  4. Day 4
    BRASOV–BUCHAREST–CERNAVODA (EMBARKATION)
    Fri, Sep 17, 2021
    Join a Guided Excursion in Bucharest, see the Royal Palace Square—the scene of the city 's 1989 riots to overthrow the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Join your Avalon Suite Ship® this afternoon, for embarkation in Cernavoda.DISCOVERY After dinner, attend an onboard Lecture to learn about the Danube Delta. EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ST. GHEORGHE(B,D)
  5. Day 5
    ST. GHEORGHE. EXCURSION TO THE DANUBE DELTA
    Sat, Sep 18, 2021
    A Mighty River’s Entrance into the SeaVisit the Adventure Center for today’s activities with your Adventure Host.CLASSIC Join a small-boat Guided Tour of the best preserved of Europe’s deltas-2,200 square miles of rivers, canals, marshes, tree-fringed lakes and reed islands. DISCOVERY Enjoy a Special Celebration to mark Kilometer “0”—the end of the Danube River’s 2,845 km journey—from the source in the Black Forest to its delta into the Black Sea. AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO HÂRȘOVA(B,L,D)
  6. Day 6
    HÂRȘOVA. EXCURSION TO CONSTANTA
    Sun, Sep 19, 2021
    Romanian Commerce and Cultural Legacies on the Black SeaCLASSIC Join a Guided Tour to Constanta, the most important commercial center in Romania, situated on the Black Sea. Visit the Natural History and Archeological Museum to discover the history of early Romanian cultures. AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO ROUSSE(B,L,D)
  7. Day 7
    ROUSSE, BULGARIA. VELIKO TÂRNOVO & ARBANASSI EXCURSION
    Mon, Sep 20, 2021
    Fortresses and Fountains in Bulgaria’s “Little Vienna” CLASSIC Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Bulgaria’s largest inland port and visit its impressive Holy Trinity Church, OR: ACTIVE Join a walk through the park with your Avalon Adventure Host. Sail to Svistov, OR:CLASSIC Join a full-day Guided Tour to the former Bulgarian capital of Veliko Târnovo—with its ancient stone houses clinging to the cliffs above the Yantra River. Discover one of the oldest towns in Bulgaria (circa 4300 BC), as well as the Bulgarian Revival architecture in the 15th-century town of Arbanassi. Later, join your ship in Svistov.EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VIDIN(B,L,D)
  8. Day 8
    VIDIN
    Tue, Sep 21, 2021
    Rocks and Ruins—Things of Beauty in BulgariaAsk about today’s energizing or relaxing Adventure Host activities.CLASSIC Join Guided Sightseeing in Vidin, followed by a Guided Tour of Belogradchik. Marvel at the remarkable rock formations on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains, sculpted by 200 million years of natural elements.This evening, enjoy live entertainment on board with a Bulgarian folklore show.EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO DONJI MILANOVAC(B,L,D)
  9. Day 9
    DONJI MILANOVAC, SERBIA–IRON GATES GORGE. EXCURSION TO LEPENSKI VIR
    Wed, Sep 22, 2021
    Ancient Art, Archaeological Artifacts, and Gauntlet of the Iron Gates Before lunch on board, you’ll sail through the spectacular and narrow Iron Gates Gorge—forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania. CLASSIC Join a Guided Tour to Lepenski Vir—an important Mesolithic archaeological site chronicling prehistoric cultures, settlements, and art. Marvel at the ancient discoveries and artifacts, as well as the unique views the site affords of the Danube Gorge. Enjoy a brief sailing to Golubač.GOLUBAČ CLASSIC Visit the Fortress of Golubač, one of the best preserved medieval fortresses in Europe. You’ll hear about its tumultuous history as a border control defense in the Middle Ages, and a source of conflict between Serbia, the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Empire. OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BELGRADE(B,L,D)
  10. Day 10
    BELGRADE
    Thu, Sep 23, 2021
    Fortresses and Folklore of Serbia Past and Present Join your Adventure Host for today’s special activities.CLASSIC Join a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Belgrade—where the Danube and Sava Rivers converge—and see the city’s many fascinating sights, including Saint Sava, one of the world’s largest Orthodox churches. You may choose to join an Optional Guided Biking tour or spend free time in Belgrade exploring Knez Mihailova Street—Belgrade’s central pedestrian thoroughfare with many lively cafés, shops, and cultural spots. OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO NOVI SAD(B,L,D)
  11. Day 11
    NOVI SAD
    Fri, Sep 24, 2021
    History and Culture of CroatiaCLASSIC Join a Guided Tour of Novi Sad, the second largest town in Serbia. Admire its Austro-Hungarian old town, with its baroque buildings, and ancient fortifications.Enjoy a brief cruise to Ilok while having lunch onboard.ILOK, CROATIACLASSIC Join a Guided Tour of Ilok, with its 1,000-year-old winemaking tradition still thriving and its medieval fortress protected for its Croatian cultural heritage.EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO MOHÁCS(B,L,D)
  12. Day 12
    MOHÁCS, HUNGARY. EXCURSION TO PÉCS
    Sat, Sep 25, 2021
    Underground Tombs and Soaring MusicCLASSIC Take a Guided Tour to nearby Pécs to see its 4th-century Christian underground tombs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with fascinating murals. You’ll also enjoy an organ concert on your tour.AFTERNOON/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO BUDAPEST(B,L,D)
  13. Day 13
    BUDAPEST (DISEMBARKATION)
    Sun, Sep 26, 2021
    Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.(B)

Countries Visited

Serbia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, Romania

Rivers Visited

Danube

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Inclusions

  • In the event of technical or water level issues, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or alter the program, including hotel overnight when necessary.
  • Guided Tours, Optional Excursions, activities, sailing and docking schedules may be contingent on weather conditions or other issues outside of our control and could therefore be subject to change at any time.
  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.


Accommodation Information

Port charges:
$252

Gratuities to Local Guides & Excursion Drivers are included.

Avalon offers the opportunity for solo travelers to sail with no single supplement (subject to availability).

Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.

Additional accommodations before or after your tour may be available.

All prices per person based on double occupancy. Cruise price based on Category E in a deluxe outside stateroom on Indigo Deck. See below for upgrade pricing.

Health and Safety Protocols for Avalon Waterways

Today's world has changed, but what remains certain is Avalon Waterways' commitment to guest safety, comfort and peace-of-mind while traveling with us. To that end, Avalon Waterways has established a worldwide Assurance program, with enhanced on-trip protocols and procedures, to ensure the health – and happiness – of guests throughout their travels with us.

It all starts with Avalon Waterways' Global Health & Safety Team, dedicated to ensuring that cleanliness of all operations exceeds today’s travel standards—from start to finish. The following areas address Avalon Waterways' commitment to providing a safe and clean environment for guests.

WELCOME ABOARD

New embarkation procedures to offer guests a safe start to their journey, including:

  • Social distancing throughout embarkation
  • Mandatory health screening, including touch-free temperature-check, for all guests and crew
  • Luggage disinfection prior to onboarding (with crew wearing gloves and masks)

FRESH AIR, INSIDE AND OUT:

In addition to Avalon Waterways' Open-Air staterooms, the air in the ships is not circulated between staterooms; only within an individual stateroom and mixed with fresh, outside air.

BLENDING CULTURAL PROXIMITY WITH SOCIAL DISTANCE:

New social distancing guidelines for guests throughout their Avalon cruise include:

  • Reducing ship capacity as required for more space on board per guest
  • Introducing more dining venues for more dining space per person
  • Crew wearing masks for the duration of the cruise during any guest interaction
  • Providing masks for guests to wear during any event where social proximity could become an issue, including disembarkation for excursions and safety drills
  • Adjusting ratio of guides and coaches for excursions, as required

NEW TECHNOLOGY TO ENSURE CLEANLINESS:

  • Electrostatic disinfecting systems
  • UV disinfecting systems

TOUCHING HEARTS, NOT HANDS:

Reducing risk with hands-free service, including:

  • More hand-sanitizing stations throughout the ship
  • Required use of hand-sanitizing stations when leaving the ship, returning to the ship and entering dining venues as well as entering each public/common space
  • Self-serve stations, including buffets, drinks, specialty coffees and snacks have been replaced with crew service
  • All buffets (breakfast and lunch) replaced by a full range of á la carte menu choices
  • Hourly (or more frequent) disinfection of all public areas

COMMITMENT TO THE CLEANEST SHIPS:

Enhanced cleaning procedures throughout each ship, including these additional steps that go above-and-beyond Avalon’s already strict procedures:

  • Deep disinfection of each stateroom between cruises, including:
    • Use of disinfectants and cleaning materials that meet the highest standards
    • Soft goods in each stateroom (mattress, sofa, window coverings, chairs, etc.) disinfected between cruises
  • Disinfection of all dining areas between meals
  • Disinfection of all shared items like umbrellas, bicycles and other Adventure Center items
  • Disinfection of all goods prior to loading on the ship
  • Ongoing crew training in protective equipment use and hygiene

FOCUS ON CREW HEALTH:

Ensuring a healthy crew, including:

  • Medical certificate required prior to start of contract
  • Daily temperature checks
  • Social distancing in crew living quarters
  • Regular health screenings

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Ship Information

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Cabins

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Life on Board

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Questions & Answers

Question: Will the day-by-day itinerary change?

Yes, the river cruise itineraries may change due to reasons such as inclement weather or unforeseen events. Your safety is the number one concern aboard and all precautions necessary will be taken in order to ensure passenger safety, including changing itineraries. Please note that when itineraries do change, the ship staff will do their best to substitute any missed port with an alternative destination.

Question: In what language is the river cruise conducted?

The river cruise will be conducted in English only.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.3
Accommodations
4.4
Itinerary
4.3
Professional Staff
4.5
Repeat with Operator
4.1
Value for Money
4.2

Ratings based off 49 reviews - currently showing 17 reviews with comments only

Great crew and cruise director. Boat appears nearly a new boat due to constant attention they give. Mosul was special and made the cruise.

The staff was excellent in accomodating my 88 year old mother who took her Rollator on-board The Gentle Walks worked well.

Great trip , loved all the discounts , and room upgrade. Allyson always answered my questions promptly.

Due to positioning issues, we were changed to a sister ship, Affinity II. The layout was excellent with several large public areas either inside or protected from the weather; those areas inside had wonderful panorama windows. The Cat A cabin was a good size, comfortable with an excellent bathroom layout and great shower. We ran into low water conditions on the Rhine and therefore had to do part of the cruise via land. Avalon handled this as best as possible and kept our inconvenience to a minimum. Their rearrangements were less disruptive than other river cruisers we bumped in to. The only negatives are the noise level in the dining room and the cabins on the port side sometimes had diesel fumes (many of us experienced this); the starboard cabins did not have this problem (only reason for not giving a top score for cabin)

The ship and staff were great. There was concern about low river levels, but they handled the situation very well. As a result, we had not problems and stayed on schedule throughout the cruise. This was a new cruise combining the Rhine and Moselle rivers, and it was one of the best we've had. We now have had 5 cruises with Avalon.

I've now been on 3 river cruises with Avalon and have loved each one.

Our river cruise on Avalon was fabulous. The cruise director was professional and always available for any questions and he went out of his way to make sure our travel experience was a good one. The entire crew on the Avalon was amazing. Every crew member was cheerful, and always helpful. They all had a sense of humor and engaged with all our fellow travelers in a delightful way. The crew made this trip even more special. The food was delicious. This was one of our best trips ever.

Our cruise director was always available, helpful and courteous. In addition, he was extremely entertaining, so his information stuck, and he went out of his way to make sure that we were able to make the most of any free time we had, by providing suggestions, tips and recommendations. I loved his port talks and receiving the printed itinerary and additional information and maps for the next day. I have kept every one of them in the folder provided, and still refer them for information on our destinations. The rest of the crew on the Artistry II were always friendly, efficient and provided quality service, from the waiters and the stewards all the way to the Captain. Absolutely wonderful experience-Avalon does it again.

Our tour director was fabulous. Everything ran like clockwork. The Moselle river is the most beautiful river we have ever been on.

Delightful experience. Great itinerary. Wonderful food and service.

Everything went according to plans for the city stays and the riverboat cruise. Unfortunately, we could have had a little better weather.

This was an awesome first class Tour in a great part of Europe.

Additional included tours were provided but not listed in the brochure. A plus. Lots of vineyards and lots of castles.

The trip was wonderful. Highly recommended.

We had a wonderful trip with both Monogram and Avalon. We Totally enjoyed our experience. Would definitely recommend both travel companies to others.

This trip exceeded our expectations...have already booked our new trip through Affordable and recommended Affordable and Avalon River cruise to others.

Had a great time Avelon ship great food great all was good

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